Chilly weather on the way: forecasts suggest Hong Kong could be hit by a ‘super cold front’ in March

Ominous band of very cold air massing around Siberia, Mongolia and Xinjiang, Taiwan weather service reports

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 21 February, 2016, 4:05pm
UPDATED : Monday, 22 February, 2016, 9:35am

Yet another wave of bone-chilling weather could hit the region in the middle of next month, bringing another “super cold front” to Hong Kong, forecasts suggest.

Taiwan-based online service Weather on Ground observed that a band of extremely cold air had been massing over a period around southern Siberia, western Mongolia and northern Xinjiang (新疆). Citing models from the US National Centre for Environmental Prediction Global Forecasting System (GFS), temperatures in some of these areas were already some 12 to 24 degrees below average.

The group also cited computer models from National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, which indicate a “negative” or weakening Arctic oscillation around early to mid-March.

READ MORE: Polar vortex might be over but legacy remains as spike in flu cases hits Hong Kong

This would allow the cold, Arctic air mass – which would usually be confined to the polar regions by strong winds circulating around the North Pole under a “positive” phase – to penetrate further south.

Last month, Hong Kong shivered through its coldest day in 59 years as an intense cold front engulfed the region. Temperatures dropped to as low as 3.3 degrees at the Hong Kong Observatory in Tsim Sha Tsui, while the mercury dipped several degrees below freezing on high ground.

The Observatory attributed the rare cold snap to a distortion of the polar vortex in the northern hemisphere that brought chilling winds further south than normal.

However, the Observatory says it is too early to predict the weather in March, with its nine-day forecast system only going up to the first day of the month.

A strong easterly air stream is affecting the coastal regions of Guangdong (廣東) with the weather in the next few days expected to be cloudy and cool with a few rain patches.